Telephone Appointment System & Triage Service
Due to the Coronavirus (Covid-19) the Practice is no longer offering walk-in appointments and patients are actively encouraged not to attend the surgery in-person to book an appointment. In fact, since March 2020 patients have been encouraged to phone the surgery to make an appointment. We have multiple lines in use to answer all calls and the lines are open from 8:00am – 1:00pm and 3:00pm – 6.30 pm Monday to Friday. The phone lines use a ‘queuing system’ to hold up to 20 calls in the queue at any given time and any individual call is kept in the queue for a maximum of 60 minutes. Given the current situation with coronavirus, the Reception Team will need to follow strict protocol in booking appointments by asking a series of questions before they can book an appointment.
With the new protocols, there is unprecedented pressure on the phone system to book an appointment or access other services. Even though the system has been in place since March 2020 it was never designed for this volume of calls, the Reception Team is doing its level best to cope with the extreme demands on the services. However, whilst the Team endeavours to answer all the calls as they move up the queue, some patients get frustrated with the waiting time and abandon the call. It is also often the case that when a patient does get through to a member of the Reception Team, they are not trying to make an appointment but rather trying to access other services (Rx request, secretarial queries such as blood test results etc.). It is for this reason that we would like to remind patients that they should call after 10am to access these services to enable the Reception Team to keep the lines open for appointments and triage. We would also like to remind patients that there is a separate dedicated line for repeat prescription requests and that for secretarial queries they should in future press Option 5 to take the pressure off the appointment booking system.